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The Ultimate Guide to Wavy Perms for Men

For guys that want curly texture, keep reading.
May 29, 2023

When it comes to hairstyle trends, social media influencers and musicians have been leading the charge. If you’re active on Instagram and TikTok, you’ve probably seen K-Pop stars, musicians and artists, or those participating in the E-boy trend sporting curly, permed hair. The same way the man bun and buzzed styles had their moments, men’s perms are currently stealing the spotlight. A great choice for guys who are interested in switching things up with a more textured ‘do, a curly perm serves up ‘80s nostalgia with a modern twist. 


Keep reading to learn all about curly and wavy perms for men, including different types of perms and 12 men’s hair perm styles to try out yourself. 

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What Is a Man Perm?

While this hair process is often associated with giving women loads of spiraling curls, it can also be achieved by men. A hair perm involves the chemical process of altering the hair's natural texture (by manipulating the protein bonds inside the hair cuticle), which is why a perm can make straight hair curly. It's ideal for those that want to add fullness to their hair via loose waves or tight curls. 

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5 Different Types of Perms for Men

Perms come in different textures and patterns if you didn’t already know that. Here are five popular choices among men that are looking to add some texture to their strands.

Spot Perm

A spot perm, as the name suggests, focuses on adding curls to some part of your hair, not the whole head. 

Spiral Perm

A spiral perm creates tight, bouncy ringlets. If you don’t know what type of perm to get, the spiral perm is a classic and popular choice. 

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Wave Perm

The wave perm for men is a great choice because it adds texture, but the curls aren’t as pronounced and defined as a spiral perm. It adds body and volume to any hair length. 

Digital Perm

Also known as a Korean perm (which uses a machine to create curls rather than a liquid solution), this perm type is best for achieving soft waves. This hair treatment has become popular with men in Japan and Korea because it works well on thick hair without much texture. 

Textured Perm

If you really want your perm to look like your natural hair, try a textured perm. Instead of using one type of curl all over your head, it uses a few different kinds for a more natural-looking, textured appearance. 

12 Permed Hairstyles for Men to Try 

Now that you have the scoop on men’s perms, read on, we’re sharing 12 stylish ways to sport one. 


1. Loose Waves

If you want a low-maintenance style that can save some time in the morning, the loose wave perm is just what you need. Perfect for all hair lengths, it’s true no-fuss, wash-and-go styling. Simply wash your hair as usual and mist hairspray, like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray - Unscented on your damp strands to give your waves extra hold.

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2. Long Tight Curls

Searching for a perm that offers modern flair with a touch of edge? Long, tight curls are for you. This style makes your texture the star of your look for a full and voluminous finish. Use a styling paste like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Clean Style Gel to define your curls with a workable hold. 

3. High Top Fade

If you love to play with angles, give the high-top tapered fade a try. Great for short and medium lengths, this look features low faded sides that highlight your length at the top along with your curly texture. 

4. Faux Hawk

For a modern look with some edge, try a faux hawk. If you love switching up your styles from time to time, mix things up with shaved designs and faded sides for the ultimate rebellious look. 

5. Short Curls 

A staple style for curly hair types, this ‘do makes your curly texture the focal point of your look while showing off your features. All you need is a touch of hairspray or curl-enhancing cream, and your style is complete. 

6. Brushed Back Curls 

If you want a style that keeps your hair out of your face, it’s time to get acquainted with brushed back curls. Simply brush your hair toward the back of your head to get the look. Be sure to add a spritz of hairspray like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray - Color Treated Hair to keep your curls in place.


7. Short and Shaggy

The short and shaggy perm allows you to play with length and highlight your texture. Since this style requires chopping your hair into varying lengths, we recommend booking an appointment with your go-to stylist to achieve the look. 

8. High Fade With Curls 

Perfect if you have medium or long hair, this perm style allows you to show off the tight definition of your curls while offering a modern touch thanks to its rounded shape. Top off your look with a mist of hairspray for a fresh look that lasts. 

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9. Side Part 

For a big impact with little to no styling needed, the side part perm is a great choice. It effortlessly creates an angled look that shapes your face perfectly. Give it a try by parting your hair to one side.

10. The Man Bun

Combine two fun hairstyles in one with a curly man bun. Easy to style and a great way to get the hair out of your face, this look will become your go-to in no time. 

11. Curly Bangs

Curly, face-framing bangs are a great way to showcase your new permed texture. The nice thing about bangs is that they can accompany many different hairstyles from short, cropped cuts to long, billowy layers. 

12. Octopus Cut

For something edgy and experimental, the layered octopus cut with permed curls boasts texture, bounce and volume. Since this layered ‘do is all about undone texture, it’s a wash-and-go style that you don’t have to spend much time perfecting. 

How to Take Care Of Permed Hair 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best way to take care of your permed hair is to extend the time between touch-ups, protect your hair from the sun and use a conditioner for extra protection and hydration. Here are some of our favorite curly hair-approved products to add to your routine.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Moisture Seal Conditioner

Regardless of what perm style you pick, this shampoo and conditioner is suitable for all types of curly hair and contains hyaluronic acid and castor oil to infuse strands with long-lasting moisture. While you may not be used to caring for your permed curls, it’s important to know that moisture is of paramount importance. With a hydrating system like this one, the result is reduced frizz, enhanced shine and bouncy, defined curls without weigh-down. 

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Micellar Shampoo 

For men that have medium to long permed hair, this water-to-foam, clarifying shampoo effortlessly lathers to cleanse the hair and scalp of stubborn product build-up, dirt and oils. Use it once a week or as needed for a deep clean that revives your curly texture without stripping your hair of moisture.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-In Conditioner

A curl-enhancing leave-in is a must for adding definition. This one includes hyaluronic acid and castor oil to nourish the hair and eliminate the feel and look of dry, lifeless curls. 

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Refresh & Reshape Leave-In Spray

This treatment revives waves, curls and coils with moisture to lightly rehydrate and reshape them without sticky texture, crunch or residue. Basically, if your waves or curls feel limp and lifeless by day three, then you need to get your hands on this leave-in spray. It’s a great product to use as needed when your hair needs some refreshing. 

L’Oréal Paris Everpure Sulfate Free Simply Clean Curl Cocoon Creme

This hydrating curl cream moisturizes and defines your hair texture with a gentle, caring formula free of synthetic fragrance, sulfates, parabens, dyes, silicones, DMDM hydantoin (a known carcinogen). This is important because these chemicals can lead to hair concerns like dryness and scalp irritation.

How Long Does a Perm Last for Men?

Typically, perms tend to last anywhere from three to six months. If you get a routine haircut every month, your hair may lose its curl faster because you’re basically trimming off the curls every time you get your hair cut. 

Does a Perm Damage Hair?

Anytime you get your hair permed, regardless of gender, hair type or length, your hair is susceptible to damage. According to the International Journal of Trichology, perms rupture the chemical bonds of your hair to create a new texture, which is why your hair can go from stick-straight to spiral coils in a single treatment. This can lead to splits or cracks in the hair follicle (AKA damage), and in serious cases when misuse occurs, severe hair damage, like breakage. 

The good news for guys getting perms is that if you keep your hair short, you’re essentially cutting off the damaged bits every time you head to the salon. Remember, when you get a perm, any new hair growth won’t be curly at the roots. 

Can You Shower With a Perm?

Yes, you can shower with a perm, the only time you should wait to get your hair wet is if you just got your perm done. After a perm, the solution has to sit on your hair, typically for 48 hours before you can wash it. Once that period is over, you can wash your hair freely. 

Is It Ok to Wear a Hat After a Perm?

Immediately after getting a perm, you should avoid wearing a hat because it can affect your curl pattern. Once you hit the 48-hour mark and it’s safe to wash your hair, you can begin to wear a hat.

How Much Does a Perm Cost?

Depending on where you live and what type of salon you go to, the average man perm can start at $70 and run upwards of $300. Depending on how popular the service is and how long your hair is, it could cost more. 


Next: The Bleached Buzz Cut is Hot for 2023 — Here’s How to Get the Look at Home

Photo Credit: IG/@saqidrees

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